Schools throughout Northeast Ohio are taking steps to make sure this flu season isn't nearly as bad as last year. 2017 was one of the deadliest the country has seen in decades. The CDC estimates nearly 80,000 people died.
The Elyria School District is one of many districts throughout the area working with Healthy Schools. It's an organization that goes inside the schools to provide any student, who has parental consent, a flu shot.
"You did great," a nurse with Healthy Schools exclaims to one of the 600 Elyria students receiving their shots.
The small, two-second, rather painless stick of the needle could prevent a long, rather painful bout of the flu.
"Sometimes it doesn't fully work like you can still get it. It's just a less likely chance and it won't be as bad," says Peyton Meloche, a 6th grader at Northwood Middle School.
Jennifer Kelsey with Healthy Schools says they're working to combat absenteeism. The national organization gets the vaccinations from the federal government.
"At no cost to the school, at no cost to the students, whether they have insurance or don't have insurance, if they show up here we will provide them with a vaccination," says Kelsey.
Denise Blatt with Elyria says it was an offer too good for the district to resist.
"Our days are limited, you know, the time that we get to spend with our students here and get them ready for everything they need to know. One day is important, let alone when they're out with the flu it can be multiple days sometimes a week," says Blatt.
Kelsey echoed her sentiment.
"80,000 people died from the flu last year. Anything we can do to help is worth it." she said.
Healthy Schools also held clinics in Lakewood, Cleveland and Willoughby-Eastlake.
If you'd like to learn more information about Healthy Schools head to its website here.